How Long to Wear Compression Socks After Knee Surgery?

If you have an upcoming surgery, compression socks will play a significant part in your therapy and recovery. A health professional will advise you to wear compression stockings after your surgery due to several reasons. What also matters is the length of time you will wear it during the day and the span of your recovery.

1. Why Do I Need to Wear Compression Socks After Knee Surgery

Compression stockings or knee compression sleeves, whichever your doctor will recommend using, will essentially be part of your wardrobe until you have completely healed. Always think of prevention and healing because there may be health risks that you would need to prevent after knee surgery.
Here are some essential factors for wearing compression socks.
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Improve circulation

Patients that have undergone surgery have two conflicting needs after their techniques. It is critical to keep the incision area as stable as possible. On the contrary, it is essential to maintain proper blood circulation constantly when bigger muscles aren’t moving. Graduated compression socks after a medical procedure can keep blood flow by applying mild, gradual tension on the legs. It boosts blood circulation while advised to bed rest.

Inhibit DVT

A condition that causes the blood to clot is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs in dormant veins. DVT can cause a detrimental health risk when blood clots flow back into the lungs or heart. It may result in pulmonary embolism. As surgeries pose the risk of blood clotting, doctors recommend using compression socks while in recovery to prevent the risk of DVT.

Reduce swelling

Swelling after surgery is not uncommon. The pressure from the compression stockings helps prevent fluid retention, thus impeding the swelling on the legs.

Prevent varicose and spider veins

Blood flow in tiny blood vessels becomes heavy, which causes blood to pool in the veins. The wall of the blood vessels expands to contain all the blood flow. In effect, varicose and spider veins develop. Since compression socks improve blood circulation, it inhibits venous problems such as varicose and spider veins.

Speed up healing

As compression socks improve blood circulation, blood flows regularly without any issue, which brings all the needed nutrients and oxygen to the area where healing is required.

2. How Long Should You Wear Compression Socks After Knee Surgery

This is the most common question asked, but the exact answer would rely on your surgeon and the pace of your healing. However, you would usually need to wear compression socks for 2-8 weeks after surgery and have to take them off whenever you bathe or shower or as directed.

3. Compression Socks After Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy would be recommended for those experiencing knee pain. Knee arthroscopy is a procedure that diagnoses and treats the problem by inserting a tiny camera into a small incision at the knee.
Arthroscopy can be used as a treatment for several knee problems such as:
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Fracture
  • Inflammation
Soft tissue injuries Fracture Inflammation
  • Diagnosis of injuries
  • Restore injured bones and soft tissues
  • Removal of inflamed or damaged tissues
After knee arthroscopy, doctors recommend wearing compression socks. According to a study done by Bio Med Central (BMC) on the impact of compression socks after arthroscopy, the swelling was reduced significantly with compression socks compared to those who did not. It had shown substantial improvement in the rehabilitation process after the surgery.
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4. How Long Do You Wear Compression Socks After Knee Replacement

For knee replacement, compression socks such as a TED (thrombo-embolus deterrent) hose are recommended to be worn a full six weeks post-surgery on both legs. It is also suggested to wear a thigh-high compression stocking on the operated leg.
A thigh-high TED hose not only applies pressure on the leg or knee it will also keep the dressing on the operated knee secure.
Meanwhile, doctors usually advise wearing knee compression sleeves before and after knee surgery. This is to relieve pain and stress on the affected knee. Using compression knee sleeve pre-surgery will help reduce swelling before and after surgery and will be easier to recover muscle strength.
Aside from compression socks or stockings, you may also need to do the following in your treatment:
  • Movement goals - as recommended by your doctor or nurse, you may need to do several movements
  • Circulation Exercises (Ankle pumps, Quad sets, Gluteal sets)
  • Ice pack
  • Sequential compression device
In summary, compression socks are supplemental for post-surgery recovery. On the topic of the duration of wearing compression socks will always depend on your attending surgeon. The amount of time indicated here is just suggestions and is not therapeutic claims.
As mentioned, wearing compression garments will always depend on your doctor and how fast your body responds to its healing process.

One thought on “How Long to Wear Compression Socks After Knee Surgery?

  1. Susan Hornbach says:

    Thank you for the detailed interesting information! Because I was debating buying another pair, so I could launder them. I see now it would be a good idea!

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